THE CONTEGO GUIDE TO HEIGHT SAFETY
Height Safety Regulations
Health and Safety Legislation states that anybody exposed to risk to their health and safety should be provided with the relevant PPE. Employers must provide the correct protection measures for anyone working where there is risk of a fall.
If it is not feasible to eliminate the hazard a PPE system must be selected and used. A Height Safety system consists of a full body harness, an intermediate attachment and an anchorage connector; it can only be used if a suitable anchorage point is located close to the work area. All items that we supply are CE certified and conform to the relevant standards (category 3 – PPE against mortal or serious and irreversible danger). If you would like more information about the standards, please contact us on 01273 831800.
BS8437:2005 requires certain components of your fall arrest equipment to be given a thorough examination and certified for use every 12 months.
For this service please return your equipment to Contego. Our qualified engineers will thoroughly examine, certify and document your equipment according to the required standard to enable you to comply with your obligation.
Training and development of a fall protection programme The employer is required by law to develop a comprehensive fall protection programme. This involves identifying the fall hazards in the workplace, selecting the products that would be most suitable for the task and training the workers in the proper use of the fall protection equipment.
The basics of a fall arrest system
A Anchorage point & connector
Anchorage point, commonly referred to as the tie off point (e.g. girder, scaffolding, lifeline). The anchorage point must have a static resistance >10kN during 3 minutes (EN795b) and should be located high enough for the wearer to avoid contact with a lower level in the event of a fall and be as vertical as possible to the working place. Anchorage Connector, used to join the connecting device to the anchorage point (e.g. webbing strap, steel sling, girder grip). It should be adapted to the anchorage point and have a minimum static resistance of 15kN for 3 minutes (EN362)
B Body wear (Harness)
A full body harness is the personal protective equipment worn by the worker. Its role is to hold the worker if a fall occurs so that they will not be injured or slip out of the harness. Only a full body harness is acceptable and it should be selected based on the work to be performed and the work environment. Each anchorage point on the harness should have a static resistance > 15kN for 3 minutes (EN361, EN358)
C Connecting device
The intermediate attachment is the critical link that joins the harness to the anchorage point or connector (e.g. shock absorbing lanyard, fall arrest block or rope grab). Its role is to limit the free fall of the worker and should be selected based on the work to be performed and the work environment. The potential fall distance must be calculated to determine the type of intermediate attachment to be used – see calculations.
Height Safety Systems
Utilisation of an individual fall protection system is an ultimate method in situations when other safety equipment cannot be used.
The role of the system is not to prevent falls but to arrest them and mitigate the results of a sudden stop midair. In order to provide a proper degree of safety, while configuring an individual fall protection system the following risk factors must be taken into account:
Minimum free space
A falling person must be stopped midair (after the so-called free fall). The results of hitting a surface or an obstacle could be fatal. In order to prevent such a risk, “free space” must be provided below the user. There are no obstacles a person can hit in his space while falling.
While defining the height of free space, one must take into account the parameters of the connecting-safeguarding system and location of the anchor point in relation to the user.
Location of the anchor point
The length of free fall should always be as short as possible. The height of the anchor point in relation to the system’s user location determines the length of free falling. If the anchor point of the connecting safeguarding element is above a worker, the length of free falling is minimal. However, locating the anchor point at foot level results in a longer free fall.
This must be taken into account to ensure the person cannot contact the floor or any obstacle.
The ideal anchor point will be above the worker.
When deciding on a suitable anchor point you must consider the pendulum effect. A worker could be in a position that when a fall occurs they could come into contact with obstacles or could land on the floor. The working angle should always be taken into account. This angle could cause the improper function of some arrest devices, e.g. a fall arrest block.
If you have employees using Fall Arrest equipment it is part of your duty to ensure that you have an effective Rescue Plan. This is required to retrieve a casualty to a safe and accessible place within 10 minutes, rely upon internal resources, with trained and competent persons available. To assist you with appropriate rescue solutions we have provided these versatile systems to our range and have the resources to provide training for your staff. Please call us to discuss your requirements.
When carrying out a risk assessment always read the information manual for each item of equipment to ensure the correct use.